Lincoln Memorial University

Course Descriptions

Course Notes:

  • Courses PADM 510-540 are required courses. Required courses are offered on a consistent schedule through Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. 
  • Courses PADM 550-696 are elective courses. Elective courses are offered on a rotating basis with preference given to student requests.
  • Students completing the LMU MPA Nonprofit Management track must take a minimum of three out of four courses among PADM 601-604.
  • Students completing the LMU MPA Health Care Policy track must take a minimum of three out of four courses among PADM 591-594.
  • PADM 697 is reserved for students completing the program through a writing requirement (i.e., thesis, internship, project, program review).

PADM 510 Quantitative Analysis

This course teaches the use of social science quantitative techniques, emphasizing applications of value to public sector analysts and scholars alike. Includes descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, cross-tabulation, bivariate regression and correlation, and multiple regression. Examines how to generate and interpret statistical analyses through the use of SPSS.

PADM 515 Qualitative Analysis

This course will introduce participants to the characteristics and approaches to designing and conducting qualitative research projects in public, non-profit and non-governmental sectors. Students will gain hands-on experience in various qualitative methods and analysis techniques while carrying out a research project related to their area of interest.

PADM 520 Public Administration

This course will introduce students to the development and impact of American Public Administration. The course will emphasize the role of public managers and their relationships with clientele groups, the legislature, the executive, and the public. The course will introduce theories of administrative accountability; public official discretion, public organization, organizational behavior, and political oversight.

PADM 525 Public Policy Process

This course introduces students to the theoretical and quantitative techniques of public policy analysis and public policy development, focusing primarily on public policy development and implementation. The course is intended to enable students to be critical users of policy analysis and to understand the role of policy analysis in the development of all types of policies at all levels of government. The course will provide a thorough introduction to the field of policy analysis particularly as the development of public policy is influenced by political actors.

PADM 530 Public Financial Administration

The ability of public officials to manage budgets, distribute resources and predict costs is crucial to a community's well-being. This course gives students a solid grounding in the concepts, terminology and techniques in the art and science of public sector budgeting and financial administration. Students use real world examples to analyze various approaches to public budgeting and revenue planning, evaluate and problem solve fiscal activities in governmental units, and gain "hands-on" budget preparation and presentation experience.

PADM 540 Public Service Ethics and Values

Ethics shape and define the nature of public professions. Therefore, public administrators need to be competent in understanding and dealing with ethical dilemmas and difficult public management issues that have no easy solutions, no right or wrong answers in order to conduct their work effectively and fairly. The course centers on the dynamic relationships between public professionals and the people, organizations, and society they serve and how those relationships can be maintained in a highly competitive system.

PADM 550 Economics for the Public Sector

This course examines the role of the government as defined by economic theory in the creation of public policy. It will focus on concepts from micro and macro-economics such as externalities, public goods, public education, income redistribution, welfare programs and tax policy to understand policy problems including issues that affect subnational governments and the local community.

PADM 551 Local Government Management

This course explores the responsibilities, capacity and practicalities of state and local government. The focus will be not only what state and local governments should or should not do but what these entities accomplish and how it does so. While the principles of this course will apply to any of the 50 states, many examples will feature Tennessee state government and features of its county and municipal governments. Features of other state and local governments may occasionally be discussed as part of a comparative analysis.

PADM 591 Health Care and Public Policy

Health care policies can have a profound effect on quality of life. Accessibility, cost, and quality of health care; safety of food, water, and environment; the right to make decisions about our health: these issues (and more) are vitally tied to health care policies. This course presents an introduction to health policy, i.e., the various ways in which the government plays a role in health and in the provision of health care and provides a framework for understanding the social, political and economic dimensions of health policy. The course introduces the policy-making and legal system of the United States, builds on foundational information about the organization of the health care system, and highlights issues in health care policy including Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policy, environmental health policy, an overview of major health care policy reforms (e.g., the Affordable Care Act), key economic considerations (e.g., finance and budgeting, public and private costs), pharmaceutical policy, injury prevention policies, and aging and long-term care policies.

PADM 592 Strategic Communications in Health Care

This course is designed to introduce students to health communication theory, research, and practice. This course will blend traditional elements of communication theory and practice to external communities (public relations) and internal communities (human relations). The primary course objective involves providing you with a solid framework for conducting health communication campaigns, including planning, implementation, and evaluation. The course will focus on the health communication process as well as the production of communications. More specifically, we examine the fundamentals of public health communication; discover the vital role that public health communication plays in the success of new health care delivery structures, the implementation of health care reform and the adoption of advances in prevention, health promotion and emergency preparedness; and explore the latest public health communication innovations, tools, technologies, research and strategies.

PADM 593 Directing Health Care Organizations

This course discusses several cases which explore public health care directing, coordinating and leadership issues in diverse circumstances. Students will form arguments about these cases and their possible solutions, applying knowledge they have acquired in previous courses to real world public health judgments. Drawing on their research into actual solutions to similar problems and using critical thinking skills gained from the disciplines taught in the program, students will present their responses to real-world decisions made by current health-care directors.

PADM 594 Fiscal Impact of Health Care Policy

This course presents students with basic economic theories and explores the role of economic factors in the U.S. healthcare system. Students will examine current and proposed health care systems in light of these fiscal and economic perspectives, drawing conclusions about the inter-operations of financial and medical structures in the United States. In addition, students will explore alternative medicine’s role as a fiscally disruptive model with which to contrast traditional biomedicine.

PADM 601 Managing Public and Non-profit Organizations

The purpose of this course is to aid students in understanding the process of managing public service organizations, and thus enhance their management and leadership skills for use in the public sector. The course provides students with the tools needed to diagnose and solve organizational problems, to influence the actions of individuals, groups, and organizations, and to lead high-performing, successful public service organizations.

PADM 602 Nonprofit Marketing

Nonprofit marketers face unique marketing challenges—from deficient resources for adequately addressing marketing needs to a general lack of understanding of the power of marketing. The course will address these and other challenges of nonprofit sector marketers, providing students with an introduction to marketing theory. It will also equip students with practical experience in developing a strategic marketing plan, influencing the attitudes and behaviors of diverse stakeholders, leveraging social media and other emerging technologies, and other skills relevant to nonprofit marketers.

PADM 603 Nonprofit Board Development

In order to be successful, nonprofit organizations require strong leadership from their Board of Directors. The board responsibility is to oversee the effectiveness of management policies and decisions, including the execution of its strategies. Students in this course will learn the roles and responsibilities of the board, including its paramount duties, and how board accountability by a nonprofit's internal and external stakeholders requires a fully engaged and active board of directors who manage the organization. Students will also discuss how they may increase board members’ commitment to the mission and purpose of the organization, and how boards must be active and engaged to fulfill their legal and governance duties.

PADM 604 Nonprofit Fundraising

This course covers the fundamentals of effective resource development (i.e., fundraising) for nonprofit organizations. This course will examine the parameters within which nonprofit managers raise funds; the historical, organizational, legal, and ethical contexts of fundraising for nonprofit organizations; the philosophy of philanthropy in the U.S. and the various motivations for giving; and, practical guidelines for identifying potential donors, handling the “ask,” providing donor recognition, and utilizing your board effectively for fundraising purposes. 

PADM 611 Legal Context for Policy and Public Management

This course is intended for non–lawyers such as public planners or government administrators who wish to understand how the law affects the operation of governments as it relates to issues including planning, budgeting, land use and zoning, the environment, infrastructure development, social welfare, and healthcare.

PADM 612 Public Policy in Popular Culture

This course examines contemporary public policy issues through the lens of popular culture with particular emphasis on the portrayal of issues in television, film, and music. This course is intended to develop policy-specific knowledge, critical thinking about policy issues and their characterization by media outlets, and research skills.

PADM 613 Grant Proposal Writing

This course will help to develop the skills necessary for students to have the knowledge to be able to develop a solid funding grant proposal. This course is ideal for students who pursuing careers in nonprofit and government agencies and are seeking to develop the skills needed to become an effective grant writer. Additionally, this course is ideal for students who work with and/or supervise grant based programs or agencies and who wish to acquire the knowledge of how the grant process works.

PADM 620 Special Topics in Public Policy

This course will review selected topics in public policy and public administration to be studied in relationship to business, the non-profit sector and the public sector. A wide variety of topics will be available to study including at prioritization, program development, agenda building, interest group and elite influence, program implementation, and program assessment.

PADM 696 Independent Study

The independent study is an opportunity for the student to conduct in-depth study on a topic of interest and/or to provide the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on a research project. Students must have successfully completed provisional admission requirements and obtain instructor approval. Students are limited to six (6) credit hours of Independent Study coursework put towards elective requirements.

PADM 697 Thesis or Research Project

All general track students must complete an approved thesis (minimum of 6 hours) or research project (minimum of 6 hours). The research project and thesis must make a unique and significant contribution to the discipline of Public Administration. A Handbook on the MPA Thesis/Project will be available as a guide to course requirements.


423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752